The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Fights for Every Woman

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The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team won the World Cup for the fourth time in a row this past Sunday, bringing about progress for the team’s fight for equal pay.

As of now, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team members get paid a fraction of what the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team members get paid. Much of this has to do with a difference in bonuses and overall pay structure. A lawsuit was brought by numerous U.S. Women’s Soccer Team members against the  United States Soccer Federation, Inc., alleging gender discrimination and violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In that lawsuit, an example of the discriminatory bonuses was pointed out in that if the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team won twenty friendlies in a year, each player would receive no more than $99,000; but, if the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team won twenty friendlies in a year, each member would receive an average of $263,320. The pay differences are staggering, and multiple woman soccer stars have been speaking out against it recently.

 

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“I think I stand for honesty, for truth and for wanting to have the conversation. And for looking at the country honestly and saying, yes, we are a great country, and there are many things that are so amazing—and I feel very fortunate to be in this country. But also, that doesn’t mean that we can’t get better. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t always strive to be better.” —@mrapinoe 🏆 Over the weekend, the U.S. women’s national soccer team beat the Netherlands 2-0 and won their fourth World Cup title. But the fight isn’t over, despite having generated more total revenue than men’s games after winning the World Cup in 2015 AND being ranked first in the world while the U.S. men’s team is ranked 30th, the women’s team is still being denied equal pay (we’re talking a base salary of around $30,000 less than their male counterparts [amongst other disparities]). In March, the U.S. women’s team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation and have agreed to close the pay gap through mediation once the World Cup wraps. It’s way past due to close👏 the👏 pay👏 gap👏 and pay women the salaries they more than deserve. Let’s get better. And do better. via @uswnt

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But, on July 9, 2019, Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin introduced a bill that could change this. Manchin’s bill proposes that all federal funds be withheld from the U.S. Soccer Federation for the 2026 World Cup until it provides equitable pay for both teams. In a statement, Manchin said:

“I received a letter from Coach Izzo-Brown highlighting her worries that women on the WVU Women’s Soccer Team could one day make the U.S. women’s team and not get paid the same as the men’s team. That’s just plain wrong. That’s why I’m introducing legislation that will require the U.S. Soccer Federation to pay the men’s and women’s national soccer teams equitably before any federal funds may be used for the 2026 World Cup. The clear inequitable pay between the U.S. men’s and women’s soccer teams is unacceptable and I’m glad the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team latest victory is causing public outcry. They are the best in the world and deserve to be paid accordingly. I’m encouraging everyone to call their Senator and Representatives to help us get this bill passed and finally create a level playing field for all.”

 

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The Best. Period. #OneNationOneTeam 🇺🇸

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Perhaps this proves that being loud and clear about equal rights can pay off eventually. Despite where this bill goes, we now know that the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team has caught the attention of some prominent lawmakers.

 

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